Potential of Activated Carbon Derived from Local Common Reed in the Refining of Raw Cane Sugar

  • D-Abdullah, Ibrahim (Sugar and Integrated Industries) ;
  • Girgis, Badie S. (National Research Dokki) ;
  • Tmerek, Yassin M. (Faculty of Science, Assiut University) ;
  • Badawy, Elsaid H. (Delta Sugar Company)
  • Received : 2010.07.26
  • Accepted : 2010.08.30
  • Published : 2010.09.30


Common reed (Fragmites australis), a local invasive grass, was investigated as a possible feedstock for the production of activated carbon. Dried crushed stems were subjected to impregnation with phosphoric acid (30, 40 and 50%) followed by pyrolysis at $400{\sim}500^{\circ}C$ with final washing and drying. Obtained carbons were characterized by determining: carbon yield, ash content, slurry pH, textural properties and capacity to remove color bodies from factory-grade sugar liquor. Produced carbons possessed surface area up to 700 $m^2/g$, total pore volumes up to 0.37 $cm^3/g$, and proved to be microporous in nature. Decolorization of hot sugar liquor at $80^{\circ}C$ showed degrees of color removal of 60 up to 77% from initial color of 1100~1300 ICU, at a carbon dose of 1.0 g/100 ml liquor. No correlation seems to hold between synthesis conditions and % R but depends on the degree of microporosity. A commercial activated carbon N showed a comparative better color removal capacity of 91%. Common reed proved to be a viable carbon precursor for production of good adsorbing carbon suitable for decolorization in the sugar industry, as well as in other environmental remediation processes.



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